There is an ongoing controversial case of blasphemy in Kano, the Northern part of Nigeria, which is generating much controversy across the country and beyond but the most shocking shade of the case is the statement issued by the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria whose position should be based on the tenets of the Christian faith which they profess and represent. Unfortunately, it is becoming apparent that they are practising mere religion by failing to seize the moment to usher in the requisite comfort and salvation in this present time of need.
Jesus operated with the wisdom of God in handling the scribes and the Pharisees who tempted, tried and questioned him on several controversial subjects but he outwitted them and superimposed divine wisdom over the wisdom of this world which is earthly, sensual and wicked.
Mr Sharif-Aminu, a musician, who hails from Kano was been sentenced to death by hanging for blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammad. An upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of the state said Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, 22, was guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March. To make matters worse, the judge, Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani said he could appeal against the verdict. Since Sharia law was introduced in the 1999 constitution only one of the death sentences passed by Nigeria’s Sharia courts has been carried. To make matters worse the judge has given an order that any Muslim lawyer that stands in defence of Sharif-Aminu should consider himself as a non-muslim.
Let’s not forget that already jungle justice has been meted out on the singer by Muslims who considered his song blasphemous, I watch on national television as protesters burnt down his family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police, known as the Hisbah, demanding more action against him.
One would have expected that succour or words of comfort would have come from the Christian Association of Nigeria by issuing a strong statement from the Biblical standpoint on the sanctity of human life and forgiveness as proclaimed by Jesus. In an embarrassing and disgusting statement, the Christian Association of Nigeria joined the mob in calling for the execution of the singer. In a statement issued by CAN, they said and I quote “We don’t have objection to it”. Adeolu Samuel Adeyemo, the Kano State Chairman of CAN said the religious body does not object to the ruling because it is according to the position of Islam. The CAN chairman in response to The Guardian said thus: “For us in CAN, the judgment of the Shari’a court is according to Islamic law and so we don’t have objection to it because it is according to the position of Islam.” He also added that religious tolerance should be upheld for a harmonious atmosphere to reign in the society. Adeolu went ahead to pull out a verse from the Bible to lend credence to his position on that he is not objecting to the ruling against the singer where he made reference to that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which cannot be forgiven. “So, our interference is not relevant. Now, if you want to know the position of Christianity about blasphemy, I will say there is what you can blaspheme about and what you cannot. And the Lord Jesus said blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a grievous sin that has no forgiveness. That is the position of Christianity,” he said.
This is indeed saddening and unbecoming of the Christian Association of Nigeria who knows the basic tenets of Christianity and the message of God’s love and grace to unbelievers who should be recipients of grace and salvation. The great Paul the Apostle that we all venerate and quote as Christians was a murderer who supervised the killing of Stephen. He also went ahead to get the necessary authorisation to persecute and crush Christians. Jesus himself had to show up to stop his madness.
It is the responsibility of CAN to issue a strong warning against the death sentence imposed on Mr Sharif-Aminu. Haven’t the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria read from the scriptures that it is the responsibility of the priest to be God’s mouthpiece? The scripture instructs thus in Malachi 2:7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.” Where lies the knowledge in the proclamation made by CAN? Haven’t CAN read Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
My last caution for the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria at this time is for them to rescind their statement and call for the exoneration of the musician who has been sentenced to death. It is their responsibility to see to it that the young man is not killed else in judgment the blood of Sharif-Aminu will be required of them especially those at the helm of affairs of CAN at this time.
Ezekiel 3:16-21 says 16 And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. 20 Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”
Let him that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit of God is saying.